Resolving the Ruckus

Proposition 11

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Requires Private-Sector Emergency Ambulance Employees to Remain On-Call During Work Breaks. Eliminates Certain Employer Liability

initiative statute

Official Summary

Makes labor law entitling hourly employees to take work breaks for meals and rest, without being on-call, inapplicable to private-sector emergency ambulance employees. Regulates timing of meal breaks for these employees.

Eliminates employers' liability—in actions pending on or after October 25, 2017—for violations of existing law regarding work breaks. Requires employers to provide training regarding certain emergency incidents, violence prevention, and mental health and wellness.

Requires employers to provide employees certain mental-health services.

Fiscal Impact: Likely fiscal benefit to local governments (in the form of lower costs and higher revenues), potentially in the tens of millions of dollars each year.


Allows ambulance providers to require workers to remain on call during breaks, paid at their regular rate. Currently a 10 minute break every 4 hours is paid, but meal breaks are unpaid. Also requires employer-paid training and mental health services.

A recent court decision says that when security guards are on break, they are off duty and cannot be interrupted with a call. It is expected that this decision will apply to ambulance workers as well. If applied to ambulance services, the companies would need more employees to ensure that SLAs (service level agreements, with local agencies) are satisfied.

Private companies operate 75% of ambulances in California. The other 25% are controlled by local fire departments.